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DEEP STATS: Is NC State’s insane 3rd down efficiency numbers fueling their undefeated season?

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Coming into the season it was common knowledge that NC State’s offense was going to be good.

With starting QB Ryan Finley returning for his senior campaign and a stable of WRs that could rival any team in the country, it’s no surprise that through 6 weeks the Wolfpack is leading the conference in passing yards. That’s great and all, but did you know the Pack is ranked #1 in the entire nation in 3rd down conversion %.

Now, there is a lot that goes into having successful 3rd down conversion rates such as the average yardage you’re gaining on 1st and 2nd downs, the playcalling and obviously your personnel.

With the stoic Ryan Finley behind center, a quality offensive coordinator in Coach Drink, and a plethora of weapons at the skill positions, NC State has both options and experience. Those two things usually will lead to high offensive conversion rates, and high conversion rates usually equal long drives and a high ‘time of possession’ average.

Taking a look at ‘time of possession’ numbers you see (as expected) NC State sitting at #7 in the nation.

So, NC State is converting on 3rd down, which is leading to extended drives. Extended drives are spiking their ‘time of possession’ and those high ‘time of possession’ numbers are helping them dictate the pace, keep their defense fresh and thus rack up the wins.

Speaking of keeping the defense fresh, them being on the sidelines so long seems to be paying off.

In fact, when looking at 3rd downs, the NC State defense is holding teams to a conversion rate of 33%. That ranks 33rd in the nation. And remember, offensively they are converting a nation-leading 60.9% of their 3rd downs.

That means their 3rd down conversion rate margin is an insane 28%.

Looking at last season for comparison, the Pack converted on only 45% of their 3rd downs and allowed their opponents to convert on 42% of theirs. That gave them a margin of only 3%.

So to summarize:
2017 3rd down conversion margin: 3%
2018 3rd down conversion margin: 28%

That’ a pretty massive difference and that 28% is looking pretty darn high, so we tried to see where that number ranked nationally. While we weren’t able to track that down, we did find the ‘3rd AND 4th down conversion rate margin’ rankings, and as expected NC State is right up there at #3 in the nation.

Of all the stats that NC State is putting up right now, it’s hard to believe any have been as important to their current success as this grouping. When you factor in the fact that the Pack’s ground game has been decent at best, this really says a lot about the poise and focus of Ryan Finley and the grittiness and hunger of this defense.

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6 NC State Players Named to Phil Steele’s 2019 Preseason All-ACC Teams

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Phil Steele’s 2019 Preseason All-ACC Teams are out, and 6 NC State players made the cut.

2nd Team – Defensive Tackle – Larrell Murchison

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3rd Team – Wide Receiver Emeka Emezie

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3rd Team – Place Kicker Chris Dunn

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3rd Team – Offensive Guard – Joshua Fedd-Jackson

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3rd Team – Linebacker Isaiah Moore

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3rd Team – Offensive Tackle Justin Witt

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NC State Football is an Early 20-Point Favorite Over ECU in Season Opener

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We are still 2.5 months away from opening day of the 2019 NC State Football season, but that hasn’t stopped Vegas from creating extremely early betting lines.

According to OddShark, the Wolfpack are early 20-point favorites over the East Carolina Pirates for the season opener in Carter-Finley Stadium on August 31st at Noon.

NC State

North Carolina State are 3-6 Against the Spread in their last 9 games.

North Carolina State are 11-4 Straight Up in their last 15 games.

North Carolina State are 7-1 Straight Up in their last 8 games at home.

North Carolina State are 5-1 Straight Up in their last 6 games against an opponent in the American Athletic Conference conference.

The total has gone UNDER in 4 of North Carolina State’s last 6 games played in August.

North Carolina State are 3-9 Against the Spread in their last 12 games played in Week 1.

The total has gone UNDER in 12 of North Carolina State’s last 18 games played on a Saturday.

OddShark

ECU

East Carolina are 2-7 Against the Spread in their last 9 games.

East Carolina are 1-7 Straight Up in their last 8 games.

East Carolina are 0-8 Straight Up in their last 8 games on the road.

The total has gone OVER in 6 of East Carolina’s last 7 games against an opponent in the Atlantic Coast conference.

The total has gone OVER in 6 of East Carolina’s last 8 games played in week 1.

East Carolina are 1-6 Straight Up in their last 7 games played on a Saturday.

East Carolina are 1-6 Against the Spread in their last 7 games when playing as the underdog.

OddShark

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NC State Unveils Stealth Wolf Uniforms for Syracuse Game on Military Appreciation Day

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NC State unveiled the new “Stealth Wolf” Uniforms today that Adidas hooked them up with for the Wolfpack’s Military Appreciation Day game against Syracuse this Fall on October 10th.

Senior Defensive End James Smith-Williams is the mysterious man under the helmet, waking up at 4:30am to head down to Wilmington for the video/photo shoot.

Pack Creative continues to put out stellar work.

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NC State vs. West Virginia Kickoff Set for Noon…

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Yes…you read the headline right.

Another game on the 2019 NC State football schedule is set to kickoff before 1pm.

With this news, NC State’s first three games of the 2019 season will kickoff before 1pm.

  • Game 1: August 31st: East Carolina: Noon (ACC Network)
  • Game 2: September 7th: Western Carolina: 12:30pm (RSN)
  • Game 3: September 14th: @ West Virginia: Noon (FS1)

Five of NC State’s last seven home games have kicked off at 1pm or before, and their 1st two home games once again in 2019 follow suit.

As Dave Doeren once said in reference to Noon kickoffs:

“It’s 5 o’clock somewhere, fans just need to get up and do what they do earlier.”

Dave Doeren

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